Wow. when did I get so political? 😉
No, I’m not going to vent or preach, promise, especially after the last one, but I would be remiss to ignore The Queen’s visit to Ireland.
I don’t know how much this is being covered in the USA, but since HRH arrived in Dublin this morning, her every move has been shown on live TV. The cynical side of me knows that the good ol’ media is there just in case… you know… just in case something bad happens, i.e. any violence breaks out. She’s also being given extensive coverage because the public actually aren’t allowed to be on the streets to catch a glimpse of the enigmatic royal wave, so we have to see her on the telly, just like she’s back in England.
You want my opinion? (Probably not.) I think it’s cool. Queen Elizabeth is the first British monarch to visit Ireland in 100 years. A entire century! Sooooo much has gone on in that time, and so much of it painful and terrible and seemingly impossible to overcome. But here she is, in her advanced age, making a four-day state visit to a country that isn’t united in wanting her here. I think that’s brave.
I’m not being glib – I’m not the flakey American here who thinks everything is lovely and fine and this isn’t serious.
Obviously, I’m not an Irish citizen – my Celtic roots are about 10 generations removed. Even though I’m proud of those roots, and proud of my new family here, I know I will never truly understand what it means to be Irish to the core, and what it was like living through the Civil War or the Troubles. I only catch a tiny taste of it when I read the history books, hear personal accounts and watch films like Ken Loach’s “Wind That Shakes the Barley.” The heartbreaking and often brutal truth is incredibly moving to me.
BUT… I do think this is a positive (albeit expensive, at €30 million) step for Irish-English relations. Say whatever you want about the value of monarchs in this day and age… and don’t even get me started on the REAL political machine that was fighting to keep the Irish under the UK thumb all those years (*cough* Winston Churchill)… sometimes you have to move forward, even when the past is painful.
After all, don’t forget British rule scourged America for a long time, too. And we love the Brits now! I can even proudly claim a purebred English relation, haha, and Lindsey is a lovely wife to my brother, David.
Just think about it. Don’t freak out when change comes – believe me, I’m saying this to myself as much as to you, my dear readers.
God Save Ireland and God Save the Queen.
* * * *
A couple additional notes of interest to the last post:
1. I have to applaud some of the local communities in Drogheda who DO take the litter problem seriously. I came across a neighbourhood clean-up the other day when I was walking up Mell, and I nearly did a cheer for their hard work! Maybe I can convince my street to fill a few black bin bags with our own neighbourhood rubbish?
2. I was told only yesterday that there’s a NEW LAW in Ireland that you have to take 12 driving lessons from a paid instructor (which don’t come cheap!) before you’re allowed to get your license here. More money, more hassle… but will it make better drivers? Only time will tell.
3. I can’t put this up as fact, but I heard through the grapevine that the US cable channel TLC will be airing episodes of “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings” later this month. Keep an eye out if you’re keen!